Sunderland schoolboy carries match ball out for England v Wales Euro 2016 clash
Sefless Sunderland schoolboy Theo Weiss was a star on the pitch after he carried out the official matchball for England's Euro 2016 win over Wales.
Castleview Academy pupil Theo, 13, was chosen from over 1,500 entries due to his selfless attitude towards not only his own football training and determination, but also because of the voluntary work he does three times a week after school.
As well as playing for his school team and Castleview Football Academy, he works with other children too, coaching the game at his old primary school Bexhill Academy.
As part of the prize, arranged by car manufacturer Kia, Hylton Castle lad Theo got to carry out the matchball before the crunch class, which England won 2-1 thanks to a dramatic last-minute goal from striker Daniel Sturridge.
“I nominated Theo for it but to be honest I forgot I had,” said his mum Donna.
“But I was contacted by the organisers to say he’d been chosen because of how sefless he is, giving up his own time to coach other kids.
“Theo thought I was lying when I told him he’d won. Things like this don’t happen to people like us.”
Kia gave Theo’s dad Rob, 33, a Kia Sport to drive to the game in Lens, France.
Journeying via the Eurostar shuttle, the pair soaked up the pre-match atmosphere before heading to the ground.
There, the Manchester United supporter rubbed shoulders with heroes Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford.
Wales took the lead through a Gareth Bale free-kick, but in the second half Three Lions substitute Jamie Vardy put Roy Hodgson’s men level before the late Sturridge strike clinched the three points.
“Theo’s idol is Marcus Rashford and the representative from Kia was so impressed with Theo’s attitude that he got him to come over and shake his hand at the end of the game,” said Donna, mum to Theo’s sister Emmi, eight.
“When he was about to lead the teams out and realised Wayne Rooney was behind him, he got so excited.
“He got taken back to his dad in the stands after the game kicked off.
“Rob said the atmosphere was bouncing and obviously it turned out to be a really good game.
“Theo had a great time and they’ll never forget it.”